Morning Hugs

In the morning, when it’s me who has to wake up Chaeli for the day, I always try to wake her up with a hug.

She’s not too far off from what I’m like in the morning. I do have the discipline of waking up early but I do it my own way. If some one wakes me up, they better tread lightly?

This morning, when I sat next to her on her bed and gave a soft, singing, “Good mooooorniiiing…” she replied back with eyes closed, “Morning hug… I like my morning hugs.” And so as usual she slowly sat up and we embraced each other, giving her a chance to adjust herself to having to get up.

She then whispered, “I love you, mommy.”

I think that was better than a cup of coffee.

Downtown Toronto, Patio Time and First TFC Game

downtown toronto

I will say, it was a wonderful feeling heading downtown again. I know it’s not been that long since we’ve been but it certainly feels like it’s been awhile. I know I’m biased, but I always feel at home when I’m greeted by my Toronto city line.

Cadillac Lounge patio

I won’t ever go back here for food. We ordered ribs and wings. While they boasted their wings to be really big a meaty, I couldn’t help but wonder what the point of it being meaty was if it was going to be so rubbery. The ribs were so-so. Smoked flavour didn’t really shine through and it wasn’t very tender either. I ordered a grilled Portobello sandwich which was suppose to come with a salad and on top of that, you could pay to sub the fries for more another type of salad. I was expecting two small side salads but I only got one. When the food arrived, I inquired but was told that I only get one. I didn’t both to ask to see the menu again as I was sure I was right. I should have.

And as you might have guessed, the service wasn’t so good either. Our waitress was horrible.

The patio environment, however, was great. And if you’re looking for a place to grab a drink and a light snack, or listen to the live band, definitely check this place out. But be warned about the food.

cadillac lounge patio

cadillac lounge patio

We arrived at the BMO Field for some free time just to soak in the atmosphere. I must say, there is a certain charm with a smaller stadium. The intimacy of the energy is much more noticeable. And they were right – while we had decent seats that were centre and mid-level, the view of the field can be taken in quite well regardless of where one sits.

BMO Field

Toronto FC CapPerhaps what made it an even more special night was the score – 4:2 for Toronto against the Houston Dynamo’s!

Toronto FCWhat a great evening. We’ll definitely return next year!

And while we were gone, our faithful dog guarded the house from squirrels.

dog spotting squirrel

Work Hard In Silence – Let Success Do the Talking

I read this somewhere, recently. I believe the original quote ends with “Let Success Make the Noise.”

I prefer “Let Success Do the Talking.” Because even then, noise isn’t required. One’s hard work will always show without making too much noise anyway.

This has been something that’s really honed in on my professional front. I have been working very hard for many years but these last few months have really challenged me to excel forward. Through it, I have been surrounded by a lot of noise. A lot.

Noise about how much overtime is being put it.

Noise about not having time to take a vacation.

Noise about not getting paid enough.

I, myself, would shrink back into the shadows during these competitive one-up matches. I didn’t see the point. Why would I have to prove that I’m working harder then any other of my peers? Why would I care how hard they are working?

I realized that I don’t really care. It’s none of my business. What matters to me is what I do and the quality of my work. Lessons are made to be learned through both success and failure along the way, and that’s okay. So long as I improve upon these mistakes, I can take pride in my work.

The noise has lessened since. As my work has started to shine through, I’m not being targeted with these one-up matches.

Perhaps simply because, with me, they can not win.

Climbing, Caving and Camel Rides

Unfortunately, I had to work this past weekend. And unfortunately, I may be working even more so this upcoming weekend. But I try to schedule my work time early in the morning or late afternoon/evening. It’s still important to enjoy the daylight with the family – especially as summer has officially started and the countdown for precious weekends we actually have together is on its way.

Whenever I’m in the mood for a challenging hike, calling up Ada or Hoa never fails. They always know just the place to explore. Granted, the hikes are not nearly as challenging as even the easier ones from the West Coast but we still manage to work up a light sweat.

And I was in a serious mood for a hike. Any hike would have been fine but when my first plans fell through, I found myself more eager to not just go on a hike, but a more adventurous one.

Hoa was busy at the annual Island Dragon Boat race so we picked Ada up and headed to the back entrance of Mount Nemo – a part of The Bruce Trail.

Mount Nemo Bruce Trail

Top view from Mount Nemo

The main entrance includes a paid parking lot at the very top. Ada, however, showed us an area to park from the back entrance for free. Plus, it started us off with a nice climb to get our bodies warmed up. By the time we reached the top, we learned we climbed about half the height of the CN Tower.

spelunking caving mount nemo

Spelunking the vertical caves.

Along the trail at the top, we found crevices – vertical caves – to climb in and out of. One of them lead us to the opening at the side of the cliff.

Chaeli was at first apprehensive. I think it was how dark it looked from the entrances but for the most part, there’s enough light to make it comfortable to see once at the bottom. After her first climb down, she became quite the explorer.

I wish we had more time to complete the rest of the trail as we only did the one side next to the escarpment. We decided to turn back and miss out on the end loop. When we reached the bottom, we did a good 7K in around 2.5 hrs (which included 3 cave explorations).

The next morning, I got the troops up to head to the zoo. Our annual membership ends beginning of August but looking at our calendar, I knew we would not have another chance to visit the zoo before that date. In fact, July is completely booked.

Zoo Peacock Cafe

Breakfast at The Peacock Cafe

As usual, we went to The Peacock Cafe just by the inside entrance for breakfast. They do not have much diabetic-friendly selections for me so I made sure I had my Weetabix with berries and almond milk just before leaving. But I joined Doug and Chaeli for a large coffee while they ate their toasted bagels and cream cheese.

Torongo Zoo Zoomobile

Waiting for the Zoomobile to take-off.

Near the end, we took the Zoomobile for a round trip just for kicks. Then made our way to the camel ride area so Chaeli could finally ride a camel for the first time.

We’ve been wanting to do this for years. And I mean YEARS! We just never had a chance or it wasn’t open when we had the chance. She loved it – though complained that the back of the camel was much harder to straddle than the ponies she’s been on.

Toronto Zoo camel ride

Will Sir Camel mind a photo-op with his guest?